Bayou Book Thief
About Bayou Book Thief
1st in Series Setting - New Orleans Louisiana
Publisher : Berkley (June 7, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback : 304 pages
A fantastic new cozy mystery series with a vintage flair from USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award–winning author Ellen Byron.
Twenty-eight-year-old widow Ricki James leaves Los Angeles to start a new life in New Orleans after her showboating actor husband perishes doing a stupid internet stunt. The Big Easy is where she was born and adopted by the NICU nurse who cared for her after Ricki’s teen mother disappeared from the hospital.
Ricki’s dream comes true when she joins the quirky staff of Bon Vee Culinary House Museum, the spectacular former Garden District home of late bon vivant Genevieve “Vee” Charbonnet, the city’s legendary restauranteur. Ricki is excited about turning her avocation – collecting vintage cookbooks – into a vocation by launching the museum’s gift shop, Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks and Kitchenware. Then she discovers that a box of donated vintage cookbooks contains the body of a cantankerous Bon Vee employee who was fired after being exposed as a book thief.
The skills Ricki has developed ferreting out hidden vintage treasures come in handy for investigations. But both her business and Bon Vee could wind up as deadstock when Ricki’s past as curator of a billionaire’s first edition collection comes back to haunt her.
Will Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks and Kitchenware be a success … or a recipe for disaster?
About Ellen Byron
Ellen’s Cajun Country Mysteries have won the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel and multiple Lefty Awards for Best Humorous Mystery. Bayou Book Thief will be the first book in her new Vintage Cookbook Mysteries. She also writes the Catering Hall Mystery series under the name Maria DiRico.
Ellen is an award-winning playwright, and non-award-winning TV writer of comedies like Wings, Just Shoot Me, and Fairly Odd Parents. She has written over two hundred articles for national magazines but considers her most impressive credit working as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart. An alum of New Orleans’ Tulane University, she blogs with Chicks on the Case, is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America and will be the 2023 Left Coast Crime Toastmaster. Please visit her at https://www.ellenbyron.com/.
Bayou Book Thief contains Ellen Byron’s fun writing style. She provides us with quirky characters and plenty of Southern charm. I enjoyed the descriptions of New Orleans, the vintage cookware, and the cookbooks. There is humor sprinkled throughout the story that will have readers chuckling. The whodunit was entertaining. No one was sad to see Franklin end up dead in a trunk. The man was not liked. The more Ricki learns about the man, the more she can see why someone murdered him (just surprised it did not happen sooner). Detective Nina Rodriguez is nice and accepts information from Ricki. She does give her a warning about sleuthing on her own. There are clues to help readers solve the mystery before the reveal. I enjoyed the takedown scene (it will have you laughing). There is a secondary mystery involving an air conditioning repairman. I do not know how Ricki put up with the heat and humidity. I would have gone out and purchased a window unit rather than a swamp cooler. Southern heat along with the humidity can be brutal. There is a large cast of characters so it can be difficult to keep them all straight. It will get easier as the series progresses. There are delectable food descriptions that will have you craving a po’ boy, beignets, and shrimp etouffee. I loved the ending. It has me eager for the next A Vintage Cookbook Mystery. There are recipes at the end of the book as well as a preview of Wined and Died in New Orleans. Bayou Book Thief is finer than a frog hair split four ways with a man who is as useless as a screen door on a submarine, a bounty of books, a vile victim, a diligent detective, an artful air conditioning repairman, warm weather, and a riled Ricki.
The Avid Reader
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